EWB-Detroit | Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua | Water Project

Organized by: EWB Detroit

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Who Are We, What We're Doing, How You Can Help

Engineers Without Borders, Detroit, is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of people in developing countries by designing and implementing sustainable projects in their communities.

We are a group of dynamic and hard-working people from around Metro Detroit, comprised of professionals from many disciplines, including engineering, healthcare, and marketing, who work together to engineer change around the world.

Today, more than two billion people lack access to some of the most basic resources, such as clean drinking water and proper sanitation, and more than 400 of those people live in the village of Laguna de Apoyo, in Nicaragua.  Here, volcanic activity and poor sanitation facilities have contaminated their drinking water.  In conjunction the local government and other institutions, EWB Detroit is working to bring clean water to this community for the first time.

With the completion of this project, we will take one step closer to realizing our vision of living in a world where all people have the resources to meet their basic human needs.

You can help us to achieve that vision right now by making a donation to support this important project.  Just click on the button that says "Donate".

Project Description:

The Detroit Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working with the village of Laguna de Apoyo on a project to provide safe drinking water for all members of the community.

Community Partnerships:

The Detroit Chapter has partnered with a local non-profit located within the village. A Water Committee has also been established. This committee will serve to represent the community throughout the project and ensure that the communities best interests are kept at heart.

Assessing Water Sources:

There are few reliable water sources in the area. The surface water in the lake has Arsenic levels up to 30 times the World Health Organization’s recommended limit. The only nearby municipality is unable to provide water the community and because the dry season lasts for six months of the year, rain catchment is unfeasible.

Most residents rely on shallow, hand dug wells for drinking water. These wells pull only the top layer of ground water, which still contains significant levels of Arsenic. Additionally, these wells are too shallow to provide protection on bacterial contamination caused by rainwater runoff. Testing on samples from deeper, machine drilled wells has shown little to no Arsenic contamination.

Moving Forward:

Currently in the Assessment phase of this project, the Detroit Chapter is generating possible solutions and designs which would provide safe drinking water to the community. One proposal is to drill a deep well in a central location and install a distribution system to reach each house. Alternatively, in-home Arsenic removal systems could be designed and installed at each home.

As the assessment phase continues, potential solutions will be discussed with the Water Committee and an alternative will be chosen. Funding for construction materials will be provided by the Detroit Chapter, with a 5% match from the community. The community will provide volunteer labor.


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EWB Detroit

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